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From the National Federation of State High School Associations

NFHS 2011 National Coaches of the Year

Twenty high school coaches from across the country have been selected 2011 National Coaches of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association.

The NFHS, which has been recognizing coaches through an awards program since 1982, honors coaches in the top 10 girls sports and top 10 boys sports (by participation numbers), and in one "other" category.  Winners of NFHS awards must be active coaches during the year in which they receive their award. This year's awards recognize coaches for the 2010-11 school year.

Boys coaches

Recipients of the 2011 NFHS national awards for boys sports are:

Football: Thurman Bell, Roseburg (Oregon) High School;

Track and Field: Jerry Cutright, Mineral (Virginia) Louisa County High School;

Basketball: Jim Eekhoff, Hull (Iowa) Western Christian High School;

Baseball: Ernie Smith, Nashville (Tennessee) David Lipscomb High School; Baseball coaches

Soccer: Kevin Johnson, Kingwood (Texas) High School;

Wrestling: Rocky Nelson, Heber (Arizona) Mogollon High School;

Cross Country: Jerry Becker, Eagle Grove (Iowa) High School;

Tennis: Richard Taylor, Forest Grove (Oregon) High School;

Golf: Jeffrey Doherty, Edmond (Oklahoma) North High School; and

Swimming and Diving: Milton Briggs, East Grand Rapids (Michigan) High School.

Girls coaches

Recipients of this year's national awards for girls sports are:

Track and Field: Ted Zuzzio, Baldwin City (Kansas) Baldwin High School;

Basketball: Suzanne Oelschlegel, Irving (Texas) MacArthur High School;

Volleyball: Rose Ella Cheek, Siloam Springs (Arkansas) High School

Softball: Richard Berthiaume, St. Albans (Vermont) Bellows Free Academy;

Soccer: Alexis Salvo, Ogden (Utah) St. Joseph Catholic High School;

Cross country: James Holdren Jr., Richmond (Virginia) Maggie Walker Governor's School;

Tennis: Dick Villaflor, Oklahoma City (Oklahoma) Heritage Hall High School;

Swimming and diving: Shannon Dunworth, Farmington Hills (Michigan) Mercy High School; and

Spirit: Carolyn Rae Hernandez, Nogales (Arizona) High School.

Note: A national coach of the year was not selected for the tenth girl's sport (lacrosse)

Additional awards

Harvey Cohen, boy's ice hockey coach at Chatham (New Jersey) High School, received the National Coach of the Year Award for other sports.  The NFHS Coaches Association also selected Rick Sherley of Sugar Land, Texas, executive director of the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, as the recipient of the National Coach Contributor Award, presented to an individual who has gone above and beyond and who exemplifies the highest standards of sportsmanship, ethical conduct and moral character, and who carries the endorsement of his or her respective state high school association.

Selection process

Working with their state coaches' association, a representatives in each state nominates deserving coaches, who then  complete a form providing information on the coach's record, membership in and affiliation with coaching and other professional organizations, involvement with other school and community activities and programs, and coaching philosophy. 

To be approved as an award recipient and considered for sectional and national coach of the year consideration, the profile form must be completed by the coach or his or her designee and then approved by the executive director (or designee) of the state athletic/activities association.

Coaches selected as state coach of the year are then eligible for selection as sectional coach of the year in one of the NFHS's eight geographical sections, with the selections determined by  an advisory board of the NFHS Coaches Association consisting of a chair and eight sectional representatives. The advisory board forwards their recommendations to the NFHS national office in Indianapolis, Indiana, where the NFHS Coaches Association advisory committee considers the sectional candidates in each sport, ranks them according to a point system, and determines a national winner for each of the 20 sport categories, plus one "other" category.

A total of 407 coaches will be recognized this year with state, sectional and national awards.

Source: National Federation of State High School Associations

Posted January 10, 2012